SUSPECTED New People's Army (NPA) allegedly fired indiscriminately towards the police station in barangay Halapitan, San Fernando, Bukidnon, the military said.
The policemen on duty responded to the gunshots but the armed men immediately fled to unknown directions. There were no reported casualties.
Recovered from the crime scene were seven empty shells and a round of misfired ammunition for M16 rifle. According to the 403rd Infantry Battalion, traces on the ground indicate around two to three individuals could have perpetrated the gunfire,
Philippine Army’s 88th Infantry Battalion immediately responded by pursuing the perpetrators and deployed checkpoints to block any possible cohorts.
Brigadier General Edgardo De Leon, Commander of the 403rd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon condemned the act saying it was a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
He called on the NPA leadership to discipline its members, and urged the militant rights group Karapatan to investigate what it said was a "growing number of human rights violations committed by the NPA in Bukidnon.
"The police station there is a public service facility. The policemen on duty were providing assistance to the people and maintaining peace and order. They are not involved in counterinsurgency operations thus are protected by Humanitarian Law," he said.
"It is condemnable that the NPA terrorists did not exercise precaution in firing their guns towards the middle of a civilian populated area. The CPP-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front) must discipline the NPA by directing the NPA to respect Humanitarian Law.
Karapatan, which pretends to be the watchdog on IHL must investigate the growing number of IHL violations perpetrated by NPA terrorists in Bukidnon," he added. (PJ Orias)